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Pleasant surprise: Son follows in father’s footsteps in coaching, ministry

Klint Pleasant, right, is succeeding his father, Garth Pleasant, as head basketball coach at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Mich. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

Blogging from Rochester Hills, Mich.
During my recent reporting trip to the Detroit area to cover the Great Lakes Bible Bowl, I spent a day at Rochester College, which is associated with Churches of Christ.
At Rochester, I enjoyed seeing Lora Hutson for the first time in about 20 years. Hutson, a professor of mass communication at Rochester, was one of my campus newspaper advisers at Oklahoma Christian University.
I also enjoyed lunch with Rochester President Rubel Shelly, retiring longtime basketball coach Garth Pleasant and the coach’s successor: Klint Pleasant, Garth’s son and a former head coach at Abilene Christian University in Texas.
I’m working on a Christian Chronicle feature for later this year (around the start of basketball season) on the Pleasants. However, I wanted to share a link to an Oakland Press story on the coaching transition:

The whistle that runs Rochester College’s men’s basketball program is staying in the family. Klint Pleasant has been named the school’s new head coach, taking over for his father Garth, who spent 38 years on the Warriors’ bench and retired after this season.
“It’s a bit surreal still for me to think about, but I’m thrilled,” Garth Pleasant said. “Rochester College has really been our family’s life. I started teaching here in 1971 and Klint has been around the program since he was a toddler. Now he’s taking over and it’s really exciting to see him continue that tradition within our family.”
While at Rochester College, Garth Pleasant collected more than 700 wins and won four national titles in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. His coaching career at the school began in 1972, when the school was called Michigan Christian College.
“I just have such a tremendous love for the institution and really agree with the mission of the school,” Garth said. “Some people don’t understand this, but I never wanted to leave or look to coach anywhere else because Rochester College has been my ministry. I’m a man of faith and the values of this institution are something I have firmly believed in my whole life.”
Now his son will be bringing that same passion to the sidelines.

Read the full story.
One thing the local newspaper report doesn’t mention: Klint Pleasant isn’t following his father just on the basketball court. Klint Pleasant shares preaching duties at the Lake Orion Church of Christ with Mark Love, who directs Rochester’s graduate program in missional leadership. Klint Pleasant told me:

Getting to follow in my dad’s footsteps and coach, and preaching at the church that he preached at … it’s just, it’s quite a ride. But I never thought I’d end up here. It wasn’t what I’d planned.

Klint Pleasant’s life has taken quite a few surprising — and heartwrenching — turns. Stay tuned to the Chronicle to read more about his faith journey. See a video below of a recognition of Garth Pleasant’s career.

  • Feedback
    Congratulations, Klint. You will be successful at anything you attempt. God bless. James May,Union City, TN
    James May
    April, 15 2011

    Garth was a classmate of our two daughters at then Michigan Christian College. We’ve watched his career with pride and believe Klint had a great example in his father.
    Margie Green
    April, 15 2011

    Your upcoming article should also mention that Klint is as a third generation employee of the college. E. Lucien Palmer was the first Academic Dean, 2nd president father-in-law to Garth, and therefore Klint’s grandfather. Garth’s father was a minister for the Lord’s church in Flint, Michigan.
    Mark Briggs
    April, 15 2011

    Klint, congratulations on your new assignment at
    Rochester..You and Rachael are very dear to us. This
    is your calling.. good luck and God bless!
    The Morrison’s from Ohio
    April, 17 2011

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